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Concept: Dabigatran

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Objective To compare the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of direct acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) for patients with atrial fibrillation.Design Systematic review, network meta-analysis, and cost effectiveness analysis. Data sources Medline, PreMedline, Embase, and The Cochrane Library.Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Published randomised trials evaluating the use of a DOAC, vitamin K antagonist, or antiplatelet drug for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.Results 23 randomised trials involving 94 656 patients were analysed: 13 compared a DOAC with warfarin dosed to achieve a target INR of 2.0-3.0. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily (odds ratio 0.79, 95% confidence interval 0.66 to 0.94), dabigatran 150 mg twice daily (0.65, 0.52 to 0.81), edoxaban 60 mg once daily (0.86, 0.74 to 1.01), and rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (0.88, 0.74 to 1.03) reduced the risk of stroke or systemic embolism compared with warfarin. The risk of stroke or systemic embolism was higher with edoxaban 60 mg once daily (1.33, 1.02 to 1.75) and rivaroxaban 20 mg once daily (1.35, 1.03 to 1.78) than with dabigatran 150 mg twice daily. The risk of all-cause mortality was lower with all DOACs than with warfarin. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily (0.71, 0.61 to 0.81), dabigatran 110 mg twice daily (0.80, 0.69 to 0.93), edoxaban 30 mg once daily (0.46, 0.40 to 0.54), and edoxaban 60 mg once daily (0.78, 0.69 to 0.90) reduced the risk of major bleeding compared with warfarin. The risk of major bleeding was higher with dabigatran 150 mg twice daily than apixaban 5 mg twice daily (1.33, 1.09 to 1.62), rivaroxaban 20 mg twice daily than apixaban 5 mg twice daily (1.45, 1.19 to 1.78), and rivaroxaban 20 mg twice daily than edoxaban 60 mg once daily (1.31, 1.07 to 1.59). The risk of intracranial bleeding was substantially lower for most DOACs compared with warfarin, whereas the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding was higher with some DOACs than warfarin. Apixaban 5 mg twice daily was ranked the highest for most outcomes, and was cost effective compared with warfarin.Conclusions The network meta-analysis informs the choice of DOACs for prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. Several DOACs are of net benefit compared with warfarin. A trial directly comparing DOACs would overcome the need for indirect comparisons to be made through network meta-analysis.Systematic review registration PROSPERO CRD 42013005324.

Concepts: Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Pulmonary embolism, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Vitamin K

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Background Specific reversal agents for non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants are lacking. Idarucizumab, an antibody fragment, was developed to reverse the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran. Methods We undertook this prospective cohort study to determine the safety of 5 g of intravenous idarucizumab and its capacity to reverse the anticoagulant effects of dabigatran in patients who had serious bleeding (group A) or required an urgent procedure (group B). The primary end point was the maximum percentage reversal of the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran within 4 hours after the administration of idarucizumab, on the basis of the determination at a central laboratory of the dilute thrombin time or ecarin clotting time. A key secondary end point was the restoration of hemostasis. Results This interim analysis included 90 patients who received idarucizumab (51 patients in group A and 39 in group B). Among 68 patients with an elevated dilute thrombin time and 81 with an elevated ecarin clotting time at baseline, the median maximum percentage reversal was 100% (95% confidence interval, 100 to 100). Idarucizumab normalized the test results in 88 to 98% of the patients, an effect that was evident within minutes. Concentrations of unbound dabigatran remained below 20 ng per milliliter at 24 hours in 79% of the patients. Among 35 patients in group A who could be assessed, hemostasis, as determined by local investigators, was restored at a median of 11.4 hours. Among 36 patients in group B who underwent a procedure, normal intraoperative hemostasis was reported in 33, and mildly or moderately abnormal hemostasis was reported in 2 patients and 1 patient, respectively. One thrombotic event occurred within 72 hours after idarucizumab administration in a patient in whom anticoagulants had not been reinitiated. Conclusions Idarucizumab completely reversed the anticoagulant effect of dabigatran within minutes. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; RE-VERSE AD ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02104947 .).

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Normal distribution, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Direct thrombin inhibitor

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Several new oral anticoagulants have been studied in the past decade, and have now started to enter the market. These drugs are reported to be as effective as, or more effective than warfarin. In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban. The use of these newer anticoagulants is likely to increase in time, and it is important for dentists to have a sound understanding of the mechanisms of action, reversal strategies, and management guidelines for patients taking oral anticoagulants. This article discusses the process of coagulation, available anticoagulants and their monitoring and reversal, and provides clinical advice on the management of patients on anticoagulants who require dental treatment. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants, Vitamin K

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Background Dabigatran is an oral direct thrombin inhibitor that has been shown to be an effective alternative to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation. We evaluated the use of dabigatran in patients with mechanical heart valves. Methods In this phase 2 dose-validation study, we studied two populations of patients: those who had undergone aortic- or mitral-valve replacement within the past 7 days and those who had undergone such replacement at least 3 months earlier. Patients were randomly assigned in a 2:1 ratio to receive either dabigatran or warfarin. The selection of the initial dabigatran dose (150, 220, or 300 mg twice daily) was based on kidney function. Doses were adjusted to obtain a trough plasma level of at least 50 ng per milliliter. The warfarin dose was adjusted to obtain an international normalized ratio of 2 to 3 or 2.5 to 3.5 on the basis of thromboembolic risk. The primary end point was the trough plasma level of dabigatran. Results The trial was terminated prematurely after the enrollment of 252 patients because of an excess of thromboembolic and bleeding events among patients in the dabigatran group. In the as-treated analysis, dose adjustment or discontinuation of dabigatran was required in 52 of 162 patients (32%). Ischemic or unspecified stroke occurred in 9 patients (5%) in the dabigatran group and in no patients in the warfarin group; major bleeding occurred in 7 patients (4%) and 2 patients (2%), respectively. All patients with major bleeding had pericardial bleeding. Conclusions The use of dabigatran in patients with mechanical heart valves was associated with increased rates of thromboembolic and bleeding complications, as compared with warfarin, thus showing no benefit and an excess risk. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT01452347 and NCT01505881 .).

Concepts: Blood, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Coagulation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran, Boehringer Ingelheim

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To determine the real world safety of dabigatran or rivaroxaban compared with warfarin in terms of gastrointestinal bleeding.

Concepts: Cohort study, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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GLORIA-AF (Global Registry on Long-Term Oral Antithrombotic Treatment in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation) is a prospective, global registry program describing antithrombotic treatment patterns in patients with newly diagnosed nonvalvular atrial fibrillation at risk of stroke. Phase 2 began when dabigatran, the first non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC), became available.

Concepts: Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Atrial flutter, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran

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Background Catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation is typically performed with uninterrupted anticoagulation with warfarin or interrupted non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant therapy. Uninterrupted anticoagulation with a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant, such as dabigatran, may be safer; however, controlled data are lacking. We investigated the safety of uninterrupted dabigatran versus warfarin in patients undergoing ablation of atrial fibrillation. Methods In this randomized, open-label, multicenter, controlled trial with blinded adjudicated end-point assessments, we randomly assigned patients scheduled for catheter ablation of paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation to receive either dabigatran (150 mg twice daily) or warfarin (target international normalized ratio, 2.0 to 3.0). Ablation was performed after 4 to 8 weeks of uninterrupted anticoagulation, which was continued during and for 8 weeks after ablation. The primary end point was the incidence of major bleeding events during and up to 8 weeks after ablation; secondary end points included thromboembolic and other bleeding events. Results The trial enrolled 704 patients across 104 sites; 635 patients underwent ablation. Baseline characteristics were balanced between treatment groups. The incidence of major bleeding events during and up to 8 weeks after ablation was lower with dabigatran than with warfarin (5 patients [1.6%] vs. 22 patients [6.9%]; absolute risk difference, -5.3 percentage points; 95% confidence interval, -8.4 to -2.2; P<0.001). Dabigatran was associated with fewer periprocedural pericardial tamponades and groin hematomas than warfarin. The two treatment groups had a similar incidence of minor bleeding events. One thromboembolic event occurred in the warfarin group. Conclusions In patients undergoing ablation for atrial fibrillation, anticoagulation with uninterrupted dabigatran was associated with fewer bleeding complications than uninterrupted warfarin. (Funded by Boehringer Ingelheim; RE-CIRCUIT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02348723 .).

Concepts: Medical statistics, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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The original non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) trials in nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AF) enrolled patients with native valve pathologies. The object of this study was to quantify the benefit-risk profiles of NOACs versus warfarin in AF patients with native valvular heart disease (VHD).

Concepts: Heart, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Thrombosis, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran

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Although non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants are recommended for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) based on clinical trial results, there is a need for safety and efficacy data from unselected patients in everyday clinical practice. XANTUS investigated the safety and efficacy of the Factor Xa inhibitor rivaroxaban in routine clinical use in the NVAF setting.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Stroke, Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Dabigatran, Anticoagulants

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In the months following the approval of the oral anticoagulant dabigatran (Pradaxa, Boehringer Ingelheim) in October 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received through the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) many reports of serious and fatal bleeding events associated with use of the drug. Because dabigatran is an anticoagulant, reports of bleeding were anticipated, but the rate of reported incidents was unusually high and was greater than the concurrent rate of reported bleeding incidents with warfarin, which had been the anticoagulant of choice for nearly 60 years before dabigatran was approved. In contrast, the controlled trial that supported . . .

Concepts: Atrial fibrillation, Warfarin, Report, Anticoagulant, Dabigatran